Pittsburgh Perjury Defense Lawyer

Did You Lie While Under Oath?

Perjury is defined as the criminal act of making a false statement during a judicial proceeding after one has taken the oath to speak only the truth. The basic elements of perjury are: 1) a false statement is made under oath or the equivalent affirmation during a judicial proceeding, 2) the false statement must be relevant to the proceeding, and 3) the witness must have had the intent to deceive.

In the majority of states and under federal law, the punishment for perjury involves a fine, imprisonment, or both. In Pennsylvania, the crime of perjury is covered under: Perjury – 19 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 4902, and is as follows:

  1. The offense is defined as a felony in the third degree if during any official proceeding the person makes a false statement while under oath or equivalent affirmation, or swears or affirms the truth of a statement made earlier, when the previous statement is material and he or she does not believe it to be true.
  1. When someone makes a false statement, it is considered to be material (having relevance on a case), regardless of the admissibility of the statement, if the statement could affect the outcome of the course or the outcome of the proceeding.

Penalties for Committing Perjury

The criminal offense of perjury in Pennsylvania is a third degree felony. Under Title 18, Crimes and Offenses, Chapter 11, Sections 1101 and 1103, a third degree felony is punishable by $15,000 in fines and up to seven years in prison.

When people make statements that are considered an interpretation of fact, the statements are not considered perjury due to the fact that people have a tendency to draw inaccurate conclusions unwittingly, or they can make honest mistakes without the intention to deceive.

In criminal proceedings, witnesses have been known to have mistaken beliefs about facts of a case, or their recollection can be foggy, or they can simply recall things inaccurately, as many of us do as time goes by. In order to be convicted of perjury, the person must have had the intention (mens rea) to deceive the court, and they must have actually committed said act (actus reus). Additionally, if one states facts they cannot be considered perjury, even if there are omissions, nor is it perjury to lie about matters that are not material to the legal proceedings. In addition to the crime of perjury, attempting to get someone else to perjure themselves is considered a crime in itself.

Pittsburg Criminal Lawyer: Defense Against Perjury Charges

Our criminal system takes lying under oath very seriously, so much that the offense of perjury can entail $15,000 in fines, up to seven years in prison and a permanent criminal record. If you or someone you love is facing perjury charges, it is absolutely vital that you enlist the services of a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney from Frank Walker Law. We understand quite well that people can make innocent mistakes while on the stand; however, you don't want such mistakes to destroy your reputation, your career and your family.

We care about our clients and we care about the outcome of your criminal proceedings, what we do here in now can literally make or break your case. Please take a moment to contact our firm to schedule a private one-on-one consultation with our attorney. We will work tirelessly behind the scenes to exhaust every resource to ensure that you stand the best possible chance of obtaining a favorable outcome in the charges against you. Don't invest your trust in the weak leadership of a public defender, contact Frank Walker Law today.

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